Pompeii is one of the great legends of the modern world. The name immediately brings to mind the day in 79 AD when the eruption of Vesuvius put an end to the city's life. Tragic skeletons and casts of fleeing inhabitants haunt our image of Pompeii. Pointing out that the city already had a very long history when this occured is therefore not stating the obvious. A select resort for many leading figures of the Roman elite - including Cicero, who had a villa there - and described by Seneca as one of the most populous towns of the Campania region, Pompeii had been under the influence of the Etruscans and of the Samnites, before coming into the Roman sphere and finally being conquered by Sulla in 89 BC. The passing of ages left its imprint on the evolution not only of painting - the four Pompeian styles - but also of architecture and construction techniques. It is fascinating to pick out the resulting variety in a landscape of ruins that appears uniform only at first sight.
In addition to recounting the history of Pompeii, this work is designed for the precise purpose of accompanying the reader in the discovery of this variety and these traces, thus transforming their journey into a series of very interesting surprises.
Fabrizio Pesando teaches classical archaeology and ancient topography at the Universita Orientale in Naples. He has written monographs, scientific articles and more popular works on the history of the ancient Greek and Roman city, and on the private architecture in Greece and Rome, as well as on the archaeology of Pompeii and the Vesuvian cities. He is the director and member of the academic board of a number of archaeology journals both in Italy and abroad, and for many years he has overseen research activity both in Pompeii and in the territories of inner Abruzzo affected by the earthquake.
Contents: Foreword; The History of the City; Stories of People and Places; The Dawn; The Birth of a City; The Samnites in Pompeii: The 'Golden Age'; Roman Pompeii: Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum; A City of the Empire; The Last Hours of Pompeii, The End of a City; Identifying the Different Eras of Pompeii; The Places of Worship; Houses and Inhabitants; The Pompeian Styles; Epilogue. The Story of a Survivor; Glossary; Chronology.